Veteran biopharma CFO brings over 20 years of experience leading finance functions at publicly traded pharmaceutical companies
Utrecht, The Netherlands and Philadelphia, USA – March 15, 2021 – LAVA Therapeutics B.V. (“LAVA”, or the “Company”), a biotechnology company focused on applying its expertise in bispecific gamma-delta T cell engagers to transform cancer therapy, today announced that it is expanding its management team with the appointment of Edward F. Smith as its chief financial officer.
Mr. Smith has served on management teams of publicly traded life science companies for the past 20 years, raising approximately $500 million, building finance organizations and supporting operations from early development stage into commercialization.
“I am excited to welcome Ed to the team as LAVA prepares to become a clinical stage company,” said Stephen Hurly, chief executive officer of LAVA. “We have built a highly experienced team committed to a culture of tenacious hard work, creativity, and collaboration to drive our platform of bispecific gamma-delta T cell engagers forward to serve cancer patients. Ed fits in perfectly and brings significant experience building finance and accounting functions to our team.”
“While first generation T-cell engagers had great promise in many areas, that promise has yet to be fully realized. I believe LAVA’s approach leveraging the unique attributes of gamma delta T-cells holds the potential to move the field forward and potentially transform the standard of care across many tumor types,” Mr. Smith said.
Prior to LAVA, Mr. Smith was CFO of Marinus Pharmaceuticals and PolyMedix, Inc., and prior to that was executive director of finance at InKine Pharmaceutical Company, Inc., where he assisted with the acquisition of that company by Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Earlier in his career, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in public accounting, most recently in the audit practice at Deloitte & Touche, LLP. Mr. Smith is currently a member of the board of directors at Benitec Biopharma, Inc., a development-stage biotechnology company focused on the advancement of novel genetic medicines. Mr. Smith holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Hartford and was licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in Pennsylvania.
LAVA Therapeutics B.V. is a biotechnology company developing a portfolio of bispecific gamma-delta T cell engagers (gamma-delta bsTCEs) for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies based on its proprietary platform. The Company’s innovative approach leverages bispecific antibodies to activate Vγ9Vδ2 T cells upon binding to membrane-expressed tumor associated antigens. Activated Vγ9Vδ2 T cells are engaged for direct, selective tumor cell killing. The Company’s lead program, LAVA-051, is expected to enter a Phase 1/2a clinical study in hematologic malignancies in the first half of 2021. The Company has established a highly experienced research and development team located in Utrecht, the Netherlands and Philadelphia, USA.
LAVA’s Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including in respect of the Company’s anticipated growth and clinical developments plans, including the timing of clinical trials. Words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “expect,” “should,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “potential” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on LAVA’s expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the progress, timing, clinical development and scope of clinical trials and the reporting of clinical data for LAVA’s product candidates, and the potential use of our product candidates to treat various tumor targets. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during preclinical trials, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, the COVID-19 pandemic may disrupt our business and that of the third parties on which we depend, including delaying or otherwise disrupting our clinical trials and preclinical studies, manufacturing and supply chain, or impairing employee productivity, failure of LAVA’s collaborators to support or advance collaborations or product candidates and unexpected litigation or other disputes, among others. LAVA assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.